The Cosmopolitan Soccer League, the oldest amateur soccer league in the United States, is set to launch a regional league scheduled to be announced on Wednesday July 23rd.
The new Eastern Premier Soccer League (EPSL) will feature ten founding member clubs across two regions: Metropolitan and the Mid- Atlantic Conference, each managed by different organizations. Based in New York and New Jersey, the CSL will run and manage the EPSL's Metropolitan Conference. The Maryland Soccer Association will manage its Mid-Atlantic Conference. Travel will be limited mainly within their respective conference; e.g., clubs from New York will not be traveling to Maryland. On first pass however, this appears to defeat the purpose of a regional league by not regularly having the best clubs throughout a region face one another.
From the EPSL website: "Unlike some other closed pay-and-stay leagues, the EPSL is a top level amateur league that fully supports promotion and relegation and puts this into practice with the first ever interleague promotion and relegation in the United States by partnering with two historic elite local soccer leagues that have produced numerous national champions, which allows clubs to move up the soccer pyramid based on sporting merit."
A source close to the situation said, "The state associations do not want clubs to join a regional league and compete against other state associations, because they will be found out...there ultimately will be a winner and loser. At the moment that is not the case. The state associations want to keep their top clubs and not have them defect to either a regional or a national semi-pro league."
This speaks to the perverse consequences that arise from a captured regulator liked the US Soccer Federation serving very narrow interests at the expense of all other parties; and a system that turns actors at all levels into competitors for attention, talent, and artificially scarce resources.
According to a source, the EPSL will run a fall-to-spring season. The Metropolitan Conference will feature current D1 CSL clubs.
Given the contradictory incentives at play, it remains to be seen if the EPSL will evolve into a genuine league or continue on as a kind of tournament of the top clubs of two isolated local or regional leagues.
The Cosmopolitan Soccer League will be announcing further details this upcoming Wednesday.
James Izurieta contributed to this article.